I’m writing this from day one of a four-day solo writing retreat. I’ve been alone for about 24 hours.
I have:: cried (that happens to me on retreat, like emotional catching up) napped, meditated, chanted (thank you Eric), danced, wiggled around on my yoga mat, giggled, and done a little wailing.
I have:: walked back and forth to the beach a half dozen times, eaten an enormous amount of roasted veggies, drank an enormous amount of green juice (this morning:: cucumber, kale, romaine, parsley, lemon, ginger, and beet), indulged in raisins and popcorn (what a wild thing I am).
I have:: dropped my computer (scary), read (poetry, Jack Kornfield, and a young adult novel I stole from my step-son), and ached for Bob and Lilly.
Mostly I have::
sat with my squirmy self.
Oh and I have written a few paragraphs.
Retreat time has its own rhythm. Of course, life does too, but
we I often override that rhythm. So the first order of retreat business: trusting that rhythm. Self-kindness trust through compassionate vigilance. As in:: Am I walking to water again because I need to lighten up on my “agenda” to get a lot done or am I walking to the water again because I want to get away from the anxiety I often feel when writing?
Picture me here, asking::
Sensing into this story.
Not checking the time.
Here are some resources that are helping me::
My writing coach Jeffery Davis preaches the power of regular creative retreats — here’s his excellent post on just how to do it for yourself. The Post-it notes over the clock were his brilliant idea. Hire him!
For determination, here is a story by Robin Bradford (scroll down a tiny bit to Gone, Gone, Really Gone) on her nine month daily retreat and this delightful interview with short story writer and teacher Sarah Selecky about a two month retreat in which she didn’t write… until the last 5 days!
My book The Woman’s Retreat Book can be helpful.
Back to the writing I go. May I be gentle and compassionate, and serve my best self. May the fruits of this time away benefit you and all creatives everywhere.
P.S. I adore creating retreats for others. Please consider joining Marianne Elliott, Susannah Conway, and me for our upcoming Creative Joy Retreat. It’s just over a month away and we still have a few spots. It’s a once in life time opportunity and it will be deeply restorative playful magic.